Authenticity

Are you still there?

Good. Cuz M is back, baby.

This past couple of months has been nothing short of crazy. First of all, I took on 18 credit hours of school, which literally killed me. I am dead inside, and my soul has been sucked away in a flurry of final exams, which completely kicked my ass.

Also, I switched my minor to neuroscience, and have made the executive decision to enter the medical field, and specialize in something super cool and prestigious, like brain surgery. (Grey’s Anatomy may or may not have slightly influenced this decision.) I discovered that my one true passion is neuroscience, and that the brain is by far the coolest and most badass organ in the human body.

So, school is going well.

Employment, however, is not going so well. Over the course of the Fall semester, I have held three different jobs. I spent a solid THREE WEEKS as a barista at my local coffee shop. I learned during this time that it takes more than an obsession with coffee to master the art of espresso-making. Additionally, I am really, really good at spilling liquids all over me, my coworkers, and my customers.

Job number two was as a receptionist in a mental health clinic. All I can say about that is that frankly, I don’t want to be a receptionist.

And job number three, which I am proud to report that I have held for 2 MONTHS, is being a sales associate at one of my favorite clothing stores. I love it and want to work there forever because first of all, I get an average of 4 hours to work a week, which makes my paychecks big enough for about a quarter of a Victoria’s Secret bra, and I also get a 40% discount on all clothing items, which I can’t afford because I never work.

Kidding, I have no desire to work retail any longer than I have to.

But what I really wanted to tell you all about is that I got a tattoo!

Tat

Do you LOVE it?

It’s the Hand of Fatima, which is symbolic of the “feminine holy hand.” It’s located on my upper side, which, I’ve been told, is the most painful place to get a tattoo.

I’ll have you know, though, that I didn’t even flinch. My tattoo artist said I took it like a champ, which I obviously am.

I’ve been wanting a tattoo for a long time now, and I feel like getting inked is my way of claiming my body as my own. I feel empowered to live authentically-It’s funny what a little permanent sticker can do to a person. Also, I want like 300 more of them.

So there’s a semi-decent update on what I’m doing with my little life lately. More to come soon.

Cheers!

M.

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Consummation

I have two days left of teenagerhood. Two days, people. And then I am twenty. And I am no longer considered an adolescent. But I am also not eligible to drink alcohol or rent a car. But that’s neither here nor there. What i’m trying to say here, is time passes quickly. Not to be sappy or cliche, but where did all this time go?

According to some website I found using Bing, (I should really change my default search engine to Google. Who the freak uses Bing?) the average life expectancy for a female living in the United States is 81.3 years old. By that statistic, my life is a fourth over. WHAT.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what i’ve accomplished over the first quarter of my life. To my dismay, I couldn’t come up with much. Of course, there’s the basic accomplishments that everyone of my age, SES status, etc. achieve, y’know, things like losing all your baby teeth, learning how to drive, learning how to change a tire (pending), moving out (I lasted 4 months), graduating high school (Honor Roll. Nailed it.), and starting college, I guess.

Then, there’s the few person-specific things that people accomplish due to situational factors. For me, some of those would include dancing for BYU’s youth ballroom team, getting published in my college’s literary journal, visiting Europe, beating Anorexia, and maintaining honor-roll worthy grades throughout my college career thus far.

In retrospect, I was an exceptional kid from an academic and civil compliance standpoint. But so what?

I love my social media accounts so much. SO MUCH. But the problem is, other people love theirs so much, too, and because they love their social media accounts, they share all of the fun, fantastic adventures their youthful selves are experiencing. So-and-so from high school went on a 6-month humanitarian trip. What’s-her-bucket got into some ivy league school on the East Coast. And that dude is married with a kid.

And me? I’m in the same place i’ve always been. Living with the family (which I love, don’t get me wrong. Not paying for food is bliss. And my family is basically the best ever), going to school, and working. One can’t help but feel stagnant, in comparison to my less-stationary peers. I’m not throwing a pity party here, I’m just stressing (as anxiety-laden folks like myself do), that I might be missing my chance here to go and do and see and experience. Sometimes, I feel like i’m in my own way.

The advice i’ve been given for this problem i’ve created myself is to stay the course, and things will work out. So I guess that’s what i’m doing.

Is this a quarter-life crisis?

M.

Concedable Classroom Concessions

I was having a moderately decent day, for a Tuesday. I had gotten my 8.25 hours of sleep, had strategically planned out an outfit that was both dapper but not too overdone for a middle-class student, and had had a balanced breakfast that included just enough caffeine to jolt my drowsy brain into alert-mode. All of the components that make for a successful day, right? 

And my day was successful. I hadn’t had a single reverie of me having a sudden violent outburst toward one of my fellow students. 

That is, until my last class came around. 

Structure of English. My most-dreaded class of the day. Noon to 1:15. Lunch time. 

It’s not that I don’t find learning about the definition and purpose of pronouns and prepositional phrases absolutely riveting, it’s that learning about the definition and purpose of pronouns and prepositional phrases cannot and will not ever be absolutely riveting to anyone, ever. Especially at midday, when my tummy has the rumblies. 

No matter the severity of my stomach’s grumbling, I would never, EVER, under any circumstances, consume any sort of crunchy, edible morsel during class, much less in the ear of the poor student occupying the seat in front of me. 

This crime was committed against me today, ladies and gentlemen. I am a victim of explicitly loud and disgusting chewing noises from the ignorant swine with a constant need to scarf down raw fruits and vegetables and sit in the seat right behind me so that I cannot escape her “crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnncccccccccccccchhhhhhhhh.” 

She started with a bag of carrots. And this was before class had begun. At the first chomp, I had already considered moving seats, and had my eye on one as distant from this girl and her repugnant eating habits as I could possibly get, without sacrificing my ability to hear the professor’s lecture. 

As usual, my reaction was too slow, and I was trapped in the dungeon of eaters who have no regard for other peoples’ disgust for their lack of being able to chew quietly. (Or just wait to scarf down their lunch after class, dammit.) 

The lecture had started, but by then, I was already gripping my head with my fingers as if I had a sudden, severe migraine. In reality, though, I was just trying to release the fury in my hands before I released it in the form of a fist across this chick’s face.

Her carrots were gone, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

I breathed too soon, though, because seconds later, I heard the rustling of Ziploc sandwich bags as she pulled yet another bag from her backpack. This one was full of apples.

At this point, my ability to focus on the parts of speech had gone out the window, across the prairie, and halfway to the ocean.

My hands couldn’t squeeze my head any tighter, so I began harshly gripping at my own hair, a ritual of sanity maintenance.

This class could not end soon enough.

I whipped my neck around and gave this girl my best stink-eye, but to no avail. She continued munching, crunching, and chomping on her apple slices, as if she were immune to the sting of my icy gaze.

She must have cut up seventeen apples this morning before class, because it took her the majority of our hour-and-fifteen-minute lecture to consume them all.

Finally, once I was positive that I could not endure another millisecond of her disgusting chewing habits, I heard the rustling of her empty Ziploc bag as she presumably stuffed it back into her backpack and zipped up the pouch.

I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Nobody was going to have to get her mandible shattered today.

But then, to my great terror, my ears detected the sharp “POP!” of a wad of Bubbalicious gum.

I now like to take a moment to formally apologize to anyone I’ve ever eaten raw or crunchy food around. That was repugnant behavior, and from now on, I will be enjoying these types of foods from the closet in my bedroom with my radio at its maxed-out volume so that nobody can hear me chew. 

And just in case you were wondering, I didn’t punch the girl in the jaw. That would probably result in an “assault charge” which would go on my “permanent record,” making me an “utter disappointment” and “disgracing my family name.” 

M. 

 

Unapologetically Detestable

In the spirit of outlining my top seven pet peeves last week, (see 7 Unforgivable Transgressions) I’ve decided i’ll unveil the top seven character traits of mine that set my peers off. (In an unapologetic manner, of course, with absolutely no consideration to alter or improve aforementioned character traits.) So, without further ado, here are my top seven detestable human habits! Enjoy. 

1. I am LOOOOOOUD. 

And I don’t mean just notably more rambunctious than everybody else within a visual circumference of your person .  I was blessed with a voice that carries through the air like a goose feather and raps against each and every eardrum within a quarter-mile radius. Beyond that, rare is an occasion that my clamorous vocal cords are not in use. Yes, I like to hear myself talk so stop looking at me like i’m interrupting something important. 

2. I am selfish.

Especially when it comes to food. I will not share my fruit, pancakes, or Jalapeño Cheetos with anyone. I hide my favorite breakfast cereals from my family. I probably won’t leave a piece of pizza for you so you have something to eat when you get home from soccer practice, sissy. However, I do expect you to share with me, and if you refuse, I will eat off your plate, or bite your finger like a carrot. 

3. I am only high-spirited on an exceptionally conditional basis. 

And those conditions are as follows: (In order of importance)

     1. I have eaten in the past two hours.

     2. I am properly caffeinated, as well as hydrated. 

     3. I slept at least 8.3 hours last night. 

     4. I got a good workout in within the past 48 hours. 

     5. Nobody has told me “no” recently. 

      6. I am satisfied with the way my hair turned out today. 

4. I always have the final word. 

My 16-year-old sister and I argue over virtually everything you could possibly imagine arguing about, and let me tell you, not one of these arguments have ended with a snide remark out of her mouth. No, typically our bicker-sessions end with me calling her some snide, totally uncalled for, and immature name. I know this makes me a horrendous person, but I feel better after calling her a name. It’s like a formal declaration that I’ve won yet another argument. 

5. I post a minimum of three FaceBook statuses A DAY. 

Can you really blame me? It would be selfish of me to keep these priceless thoughts in my own little head. I am flawlessly hilarious, and I feel that it is my duty-nay, my burden-to share them with the world wide web. 

6. I do things in spite of those who know better. 

I have these ADORABLE high-waisted shorts that I bought this past summer that are to be worn with a tucked-in shirt and make my legs look awesome. However, every time I wear these shorts, my mother dearest always makes remarks such as “Maddie, your whole butt is hanging out!” or “Those shorts are just a tiny bit short, don’t you think?” Yes, mom, I do think, but I like. And so I shall continue to wear. 

7. I am confrontationally impaired. 

If you do something to piss me off, I will engage in a series of behaviors that will lead you to correctly believe that I am pissed off at you. But I will never tell you to your face what it is that you’ve done to me to make me pissed off in the first place. So good luck figuring it out while I treat you like crap until you apologize, gosh dang you. 

And that, my good people, are the top 7 reasons why people hate me. 

M. 

For Maximum Efficiency

My friend and I were reminiscing on acquaintances from high school yesterday, and naturally, our conversation morphed into a bash-fest of people we loathed. My friend brought up a girl that we’d been mutual friends with, but my friend’s relationship with this girl turned sour due to the girl’s blunt honesty and disregard for others’ reception of her verbalized opinions. I am still on good terms with this girl, despite my friend’s animosity toward her. 

My friend began listing out the qualities about this girl that caused the termination of their friendship. Her list started out with the girl’s character traits, but, as any gossiping female would, her list ended with insults on the girl’s physique. (Her “weird-shaped” head, of all things, which is completely unalterable, and quite frankly one of the most comedically pathetic insults I could possibly think of.) 

I told my friend that regardless of her opinion, I still liked the girl, and told her to be nice. (BLEH, she says.) Before I continue any further, I just want to acknowledge that I know that I am more than guilty of saying bitchy things behind girls’ backs, and I, too, have made fun of girls for their physical appearances, even though, hypocritically, I believe that the way a person looks has absolutely nothing to do with their value and like-ability. 

I’m a hypocrite, yes. 

Again, i’m only human, and I am only using this story to make a point. 

As with most things, I gave this conversation way more thought than normal humans do, and I noticed that this similar situation happens frequently among the ladyverse. 

When we’re blabbing away to our girlfriends about other girls that we can’t stand, why is it that we feel a need to not only insult their “hamartia”, but, while we’re at it, attack their physique, weight, hair, boobs, etc.? 

“Ugh she is such a fat, ugly b*tch.” 

“That slut’s nose is as big as jupiter.” 

Why does calling a girl a brat or a jerk or stupid not satisfy our tongues? Why do we feel the need to include the fact that she’s an UGLY brat or a FAT jerk? 

I’d be willing to bet that the majority of us females, myself included, would rather be called a brat than be called ugly or fat. Because hey, I may be a sucky person with a drag of a personality, but at least I’m pretty and that’s all that matters. 

I’m right, aren’t I? 

Most of us would never admit this out loud, but the sting of being called “ugly” lasts way longer and affects us way worse than being called “stupid” or bratty. 

Beauty takes the cake in the way we want others to think of us.

I know that people will continue to bad-mouth other people to their friends, but it’s possible to hate someone without ridiculing their physical appearances. 

That’s your food for thought on this fine Thursday. 

M. 

Conflicting Conscience

Let me tell you a little story about a not-so-little girl. Legend has it she got not-so-little due to her picky palate and refusal to eat anything but starchy vegetables and Easy Mac. As the years passed, her excess intake of carbohydrates stuck to her in the least-flattering way that fat could stick to a person. You could see nothing but disgust and self-loathing in her eyes-merely a nine-year-old child! You would never catch this girl with more than a half-hearted grin in any photograph.

And the fat jokes, they came. As early as the fourth grade. They stung, oh they stung. But not nearly as badly as her own thoughts in her head. But she fought to suppress them, that is, until she was involuntarily thrust into the firey, unforgiving, pubescent realms of junior high school.  By that time, the voices had won. 

Just like that, from the end of seventh grade to the beginning of the eighth, the girl had dropped from her hearty, 110 pound chubbiness to a gaunt, skeleton-like 72 pounds. She thought that in doing this, she would satisfy the voices in her head, but they had only grown stronger with time. She was ugly, she was worthless, she was disgusting. And she believed it, too. 

Since then, she has crawled out of the hole she’d dug herself into, but her thoughts remain the same. Subconsciously, she still sees the portly fourth grader she’d shed a number of years ago. With every bite of cookie or cake or french fry comes an overwhelming and exhausting feeling of guilt, which results in her self-consciously pinching at herself in the mirror for the next half-hour. 

You guessed it, that girl is me. Living with a distorted body image is a living hell, I assure you. You take every fat joke, every weight-loss “secret” to heart, and you never feel good enough. It sucks. 

But Maddie, you’re a feminist! 

Feminists don’t believe in vanity or in giving in to societal pressures! 

Shut up you guys, i’m only human. 

And yes, I do believe that women are worth way more than their dress size or number on the scale and that “what matters is how you feel on the inside” and all that gushy, feel-good crap. On a conscious level, I really do agree to all of that. And I can counsel other girls till i’m blue in the face on how their size doesn’t matter and that they don’t have to be “beautiful” to be of worth, but I can’t apply a lick of my own words and “beliefs” to my own life. There, I said it. 

It’s a freaking drag. 

So here I am, conflicted as ever. Having the strongest belief in feminism and not owing beauty to anyone, when I am consciously indebted to myself with my vain bodily short-comings. 

Naturally, the blame falls both on the shoulders of the fat, carb-inhaling youngster I used to be, and also our disgusting, skinny-worshiping patriarchal society. 

A sincere thank-you to the both of y’all. 

I’m not sure what the point was for this post, but in the words of Nick Carraway from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, “Writing brings me solace.”

M. 

Award

Last night, I spent hours binge-blogging when I came across Nonsense & Shenanigins (Which is a gem of a blog, and I highly recommend y’all check it out.) After commenting on a post of hers, she was kind enough to visit my blog as well, and decided to nominate me for the (drumroll please) Very Inspiring Blogger Award! 

*Gets choked up* *Gingerly wipes tear from eyes* *Clears throat to make motivational speech*

vib

TADA! There she is. 

And now for my “Thank You” speech. First and foremost, I’d like to thank Tempest Rose from Nonsense & Shenanigins for nominating me for this award. Secondly, I’d like to thank the flustering, ignorant, bigots of the world that fuel my anger and give me so much to rant about! Without you, this blog would not be possible. Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone who’s ever read, disagreed with, or visited my blog. I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to know that somebody somewhere is reading what I compose. 

And now for the rules of participating in the VIB Award

  1. Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 7 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  5. Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

7 Facts You Never Knew About Maddisen Tingey (and probably never cared to know anyway):

1. My wildest dream is to own my very own ranch in Alabama somewhere so I can have my very own animals and wear sundresses all the time and sit on my porch with the other southern belles and gossip and drink iced tea and acquaint myself with shirtless farm boys and the like. 

2. Although I am a devout feminist, a feminazi if you will, I am shamefully obsessed with gushy romance novels. I’ve read all of Nicholas Sparks’s books multiple times, and have shed many a tear over true love that can never be. I’m the same way with movies. It’s a problem. 

3. I have the hardest time speaking my mind. No, I’m not shy, but for some reason, I am completely unable to verbalize my own feelings. However, hand me a MacBook Air, and I can be the most confrontational, straight-forward feelings-sharer you ever did know. 

4. My dream career would be to become an established author and editorial writer. I want to write quirky novels and also share my overbearing opinions on current issues via print magazines, etc. 

5. I am a contracted “model.” All five feet and two inches of me. Let me tell you a little something: the modeling world is a joke unless you have at least 2 grand to throw toward launching your “career.” And even then, you’ll probably hardly ever book any jobs. I hate myself a little for falling into this trap. 

6. My first language was German. My mom was born in Deutschland and moved to the states when she was 18, only to return back to her motherland to serve an LDS mission, where she met my dad. Then the best thing that could have happened to them, me, and German was all I heard as a kid. 

7. I was a vegetarian until age 17. But now I put bacon on virtually everything. 

So now you guys know seven random and unimportant facts about me! Do with that information what you will.

And my own nominees for the Very Inspiring Blogger are: 

Young Mormon Feminists (I am going to be guest-blogging for them on a monthly basis and I am simply ECSTATIC)

Natural 0

Man’s World

Charity Novell

La Vida Es Dolce

Thinking About Blank

I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog

And that’s that. 

M.